EuroVelo 8 connects many destinations that are popular tourist attractions in their own right: Barcelona, Monaco, Venice, the Croatian Coast, Cyprus – the list goes on. It is little surprise therefore that the Mediterranean Route receives more interest than any other EuroVelo route. And whilst many of it’s destinations are already internationally famous, there are still lots of undiscovered gems to be found along the way, not least in Albania and Montenegro.
So what are you waiting for!
- 5888 km long
712 Species of fish in
- Religious heritage
- Maritime heritage
- World Heritage Sites (UNESCO)
- Mediterranean diet
- Natural heritage
- Art cities
- Mediterranean Sea
Monastic Complex San Benedetto Po, Italy
Founded in 1007 by Tedaldo of Canossa, grandfather of the celebrated Countess Matilda, on the island between the rivers Po and Lirone, the monastery played a key role in the history of monasticism via its religious, political and cultural vitality until it was suppressed by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797. The visit to the majestic complex comprises the cloisters and interiors of the Seculars and of St Simeon, the cloister of San Benedetto, the monastic refectory with a fresco by Correggio, 16C cellars containing a rich collection of decorated old farm wagons and an exhibition of archaeological finds, the Chapter House and the Museo Civico Polironeano, one of the most important ethnographic museums in Lombardy.
Pomposa Abbey, Italy
A masterpiece of Romanesque art, Pomposa Abbey can be seen from a distance with its towering campanile, which dominates the surrounding countryside like a "lighthouse" in the sea of green that surrounds it.
Patras and its region is home to various Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine Monuments, including the Roman Odeon, the Fortress of Rio and the Fortress (castle) of Patras. The church of Saint Andrew of Patras was founded in 1908 by King George I and was inaugurated in 1974. It is dedicated to Saint Andrew, the patron of the city and is near the seafront, between the areas of the new and the old port. It is the second largest temple of byzantine style in the Balkans (after the Cathedral of Saint Sava in Belgrade). The central cupola is 46 m (151 ft) tall and is the base for a 5 m (16 ft) gold-plated cross and twelve smaller ones, symbolizing Christ and the twelve apostles. A congregation of at least 5,000 can attend a sermon within the church.
Panagia Angeloktisti, Cyprus
According to local tradition, the residents of ancient Kition moved to Kiti in order to escape the Arab invasions. In Kition they decided to erect a church in honour of the Virgin (Panagia). While building the church, they realised that the foundations had moved to a different location overnight. After the miracle had occured the villagers then changed the location of the church and noticed that an army of angels was coming down at night to build it; hence the name 'Aggeloktisti' ('built by Angels').
Like much of the Mediterranean, Spain is synonymous with sunny beaches, good food and the outdoor lifestyle. Tarifa, the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula, marks the point at which the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. Here, two continents sit within sight of each other. The mere 14 kilometre gap that separates Spain and Morocco has been a major cultural crossroads. Modern Spanish culture is infused with its Moorish heritage and there are many architectural treasures that bear witness to its diverse history.
The south of France is influenced par the Mediterranean culture. Its iconic landscapes have been shaped by its inhabitants over several generations. From the salt marshes to lavender fields, the traditional and ancestral methods are still used to preserve the quality of the regional products. Cycling through the Mediterranean region is a real awakening of the senses. Come taste the authentic cuisine which will revive your taste buds, observe the unique landscapes like the Camargue, where the sea merges with the sky and come breath the air and scents of the Provence... From the Côte d'Azur, renown for its splendor and its 'Belle Epoque' architecture, to the oriental extremity where the Alps meet the Mediterranean, passing by the Languedoc and its great vineyards, you will experience an exciting adventure. Open your ears and listen to soft accent of the 'Midi', to share unforgettable experiences.
Crossing this micro-state is no major sporting feat but the hilly winding streets make sure that it’s counted. With a total area of just over 2 square kilometres, you will have seen most of it just by entering it. Famous for its Monte Carlo Casino and its Formula 1 Gran Prix, it is also the state with the highest per capita GDP as well as the highest population density.
Italy is emblematic of the Mediterranean. Its long arm juts out into the sea towards the African continent. The Romans brought together the whole region and put their capital at the centre of their empire. They exported their way of life wherever they went. It shaped not just the history of the region but also the different cultures that can be found throughout it today. This is true as much for its architectural influence as for its culinary and religious influence.
Slovenia is the only country in Europe that combines the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Pannonian Plain and the Karst. One of the more memorable contrasts in the Slovenian landscape is the proximity of the Alpine and Mediterranean worlds, each offering the visitor a whole palette of regional characteristics. Between its ancient salt works - the northenmost in the Mediterranean- which are home to 150 bird species and its picturesque coastal towns, Slovenia definitely has enough Mediterranean in it to deserve its spot on EuroVelo 8.
The route takes you through the most beautiful parts of the Croatian Mediterranean coast and hinterland. You will be met by a rich cultural and historical heritage that dates from early ages and enjoy the natural beauties. The route passes through a series of larger and smaller towns and villages in which you will get to know and be able to enjoy the traditional way of life, which was kept for centuries. The route connects the location which has been listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO and don’t forget about blue sea and a sunny sky.
Although the coastal region of Neum is surrounded by Croatian peninsulas, it is written into international law that Bosnia and Herzegovina has the right of passage to the outer sea, and now to the EuroVelo network too! The closed bay is protected from strong winds and makes for wonderfully calm conditions both in the water and out of it. As such it’s the perfect place for calm-water activities and is a hot spot for Scuba-diving, parasailing, boating and jet skiing.
In the Mediterranean, there is simply no mountain landscape comparable to Montenegro. Now it is more and more accessible to cyclists too, with some 3,000 km of on- and off- road biking trails mapped out for you to discover. EuroVelo 8 will pass by the Bay of Kotor, a UNESCO world heritage site, on the way around the Adriatic coast to Podgorica, the capital. The route is currently not realised.
The Albanian coast is characterised by fresh mountain air mixing with the warm sea breeze. The climatic diversity of the country is matched by its biological diversity and its forests are home to a wide range of mammals, including wolves, bears, wild boars and chamois. While the lynx, wildcats, pine martens and polecats are rarer, they can also be spotted in the landscape.
Entering Greece from Epirous Region borders with legendary Ionian sea where dolphins and fishermans share the clear blue waters, from Igoumenitsa, to Sivota, Parga and Preveza to historical villages like Zalogo, Souli and Zagori. Cycling south to West Greece Region from Astakos and Vonitsa till National Park of Messolonghi-Etoliko Lagoons, of lower flow, of Acheloos and Evinos rivers delta and of Echinades islands till you finally cross Antirrio-Rio bridge to enter Peloponesse biggest city Patras, where one of the biggest carnival purely of Italian origin started approximately 180 years ago. Cycling by the sea from Xylokastro and Ancient Sykyon to Kiato towards Korinthos and Loutraki, a coastal town internationally known for its thermal springs. Along the coast from Megara to Eleusina and the Eleusinian Mysteries, one of the most famous religious events of the ancient Greek religion, entering Attica Region with UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the medieval Daphni Monaster to the Acropolis of Athens. The route is currently not realised.
The easternmost part of EuroVelo 8 is on the island of Cyprus. Cyprus is a compact island with an incredible variety of scenery within short distances, making it a delight to cyclists. The route loops around the island and goes through some of the most interesting parts of Cyprus, from mountainous villages where the old ways of life, customs and traditions can be observed, to bustling cities and tourist resorts with coastal views over pristine beaches. With the island situated at the crossroads of three continents, cyclists can ride not only through various landscapes, but also through 10.000 years of history and civilisation: prehistoric settlements, classical Greek temples, Roman theatres and villas, early Christian basilicas, Gothic cathedrals, Venetian fortifications, Moslem mosques and British colonial-style buildings.